A Quick way to Measure Your Pups

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A Quick way to Measure Your Pups

Post by Barry on Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:49 am

This is a copy of the post I made over in the Matsumoku forum.
I found it to be a useful technique and I thought the members here might too:
Postby Barry on Sun 27 Jun 2010 04:13 PM
Ya know, the older I get, the more I realise how much more I have to learn! Particularly so as I get more and more interested in the guitars that I have played, mindlessly, for over 50 years (ouch that hurt!).

One of the most often asked questions around here is, "Can you put a multimeter on the pups and tell us what the output is?"
Well, yeah...the only way I knew how to do that was to either open the control cavity and probe about and hope I hit the "right" lead wires, or, physically remove the pups and go nuts trying to do the same thing.

Recently I learned a new, easy way to get a very accurate reading (not 100% perfect perhaps but extremely close). All that is required is to plug in a short patch cord, like the kind you'd use to chain some effects pedals together for example, into the output jack of the guitar. Then touch the ground probe (usually black) to the "ground" (side) of the exposed plug, and the hot probe (usually red) to the tip of the plug. Et voila!

Remember to turn the volume up full before you test!
Works great, nice and easy, fast and quite accurate. What else do ya need, eh?
I'm thrilled, since I have a lot of guitars to check and I do not wish to yank out pups to test their resistance!
Hope you find this helpful!
Let me reiterate that this is not 100% accurate; you will read 2% or so lower, because of the pot and cable in the signal chain. But it's very close and quite helpful if you're trying to do an A-B comparison for example, or just want to have a good idea what the output is on a guitar you may be considering buying.


Last edited by Barry on Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: A Quick way to Measure Your Pups

Post by hoax on Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:43 pm

Sounds like a good tip Barry. I read it over on Matsumoku.com. I was never sure whether or not you had to disconnect the pickup so that you eliminate the resistance from the rest of the wiring, but your tip sure makes it easy.I will need to try it.

First, though, I will need to get a cheap multimeter and learn how to use it.

Cheers

Graham

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Re: A Quick way to Measure Your Pups

Post by boutjp97 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:53 am

Great tip. I just did six pickup installs on three different guitars and this tip prooved very useful and pretty accurate as I was able to test both ways. Once again a great little nugget of knowledge from Barry that will save me precious time in the future. Thanks.

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Re: A Quick way to Measure Your Pups

Post by hoax on Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:31 pm

Barry

I tried it and it works a treat. It is great for locating a dodgy coil when used with a coil switch. Just set it up for full humbucker and if your reading is 5.5k or thereabouts, you know that one coil is dead.

Top man!

Graham

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Re: A Quick way to Measure Your Pups

Post by Barry on Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:57 pm

* Bump *

Here's a little update to this technique from none other than Stewart MacDonald which describes how to make more permanent tool to do the same thing as described above:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150484923769925.385419.90373849924&type=3

If you need to do this kind of thing a lot it may be worth the time to make this contraption. santa

_________________
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GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: http://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)

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Re: A Quick way to Measure Your Pups

Post by Westbone on Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:51 pm

On the comments, Dave Dillman has it taped, it's been used for years.
Nothing new, just common sense.

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Re: A Quick way to Measure Your Pups

Post by hobster on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:37 pm

Barry wrote:This is a copy of the post I made over in the Matsumoku forum.
I found it to be a useful technique and I thought the members here might too:
Postby Barry on Sun 27 Jun 2010 04:13 PM
Ya know, the older I get, the more I realise how much more I have to learn! Particularly so as I get more and more interested in the guitars that I have played, mindlessly, for over 50 years (ouch that hurt!).

One of the most often asked questions around here is, "Can you put a multimeter on the pups and tell us what the output is?"
Well, yeah...the only way I knew how to do that was to either open the control cavity and probe about and hope I hit the "right" lead wires, or, physically remove the pups and go nuts trying to do the same thing.

Recently I learned a new, easy way to get a very accurate reading (not 100% perfect perhaps but extremely close). All that is required is to plug in a short patch cord, like the kind you'd use to chain some effects pedals together for example, into the output jack of the guitar. Then touch the ground probe (usually black) to the "ground" (side) of the exposed plug, and the hot probe (usually red) to the tip of the plug. Et voila!

Remember to turn the volume up full before you test!
Works great, nice and easy, fast and quite accurate. What else do ya need, eh?
I'm thrilled, since I have a lot of guitars to check and I do not wish to yank out pups to test their resistance!
Hope you find this helpful!
Let me reiterate that this is not 100% accurate; you will read 2% or so lower, because of the pot and cable in the signal chain. But it's very close and quite helpful if you're trying to do an A-B comparison for example, or just want to have a good idea what the output is on a guitar you may be considering buying.

This is great stuff Barry, i've never heard of this method before Shocked Works great, thanks for the bump!

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